The induction process for new employees is vital. It sets up an employee’s future career at the organisation and ultimately ensures greater employee retention and productivity. Research has shown that a good and thorough induction process results in less disciplinary and grievance issues, and higher employee engagement. Having an induction checklist is really helpful.
What Steps Should we Take?
Before commencing employment – Employee contract and Employee Handbook
The crucial thing that should be in place before an employee starts is their employment contract, because it specifically outlines the terms they have agreed to. Issues with the employment contract can usually be removed by ensuring that the offer letter of employment is detailed enough so the employee is aware of what they are accepting. If this is the case, there is likely to be minimal issues with the employment contract which in turn makes it more likely the contract will be executed properly (by both parties signing it). It is generally good practice, and highly advised that the employment contract is returned signed before the start date. This removes a potential array of problems occurring and reduces the likelihood of legal disputes in the future. The Employment contract is the first port of call in a legal dispute, making it important to ensure it accurately reflects the terms, and is executed properly.
The other crucial document that should be up to date prior to the employee’s official start date is the Employee Handbook. This is important because the handbook contains policies such as the disciplinary, grievance and sickness absence procedures that the employee and employer will need to refer to. The employee should be given a copy of or told where they can access this document. As with the employment contract, the handbook is another document that will be referred to and looked at in detail in legal disputes.
Employee’s First Day – Location and Workplace Etiquette
Starting a new job can be really daunting for some. An induction process can help put the employee at ease on their first day.
The new employee should be made fully aware of the basic workplace etiquette that seasoned employees take for granted. Examples of practices that a new employee will not be aware of but should be informed of, or provided with information about include:
- The location of the office noticeboards.
- The location of the canteen, toilets, help desk, etc.
- How people in the office speak to customers or clients on the phone (phone etiquette)
- The use of the organisation’s specific email signature on the employee’s emails to customers/clients.
- The location of the fire assembly point if a fire drill were to occur, and how often fire drills take place.
- The role of people in the workplace, which includes the designated First Aider, Fire Warden, Health and Safety Officer and Whistleblowing Officer.
It is likely most of the information mentioned above is included within the employee handbook, a document which as mentioned, every organisation should strive to have and ensure is up to date.
The next thing a new employee should have on their start date, (despite an obvious warm welcome) is a plan of action in place for the next few weeks. This is very important so the employee knows what is expected of them and similarly what they can expect from the organisation/business they are joining. This ensures a smooth induction and engagement because the employee will have a clear goal.
The Do’s and Don’ts of the Employee Induction process
The key do’s and don’ts from the ACAS Guidance on Induction Processes:
|Get it right from day one…|
|Avoid – bombarding a new employee with too much new information, paperwork and too many new people.||Instead – work out what is essential for day one and spread the rest of the information and introductions across the induction.|
|Avoid – leaving a new employee to a lonely break or extended periods of time with nothing to do.||Instead – make sure there’s
company available at breaks if it’s
wanted, and plan so any downtime
can be used productively.
|Avoid – throwing a new employee straight into the job without the confidence and understanding an
induction will give them.
|Instead – gradually introduce the
job through the induction, making
time for the new employee to try
tasks in a supportive environment
|Avoid- delaying the induction for even a few days, as new employees may start to pick up bits of information –possibly misinformation – but then not listen properly to the knowledge they should be retaining at the induction.||Instead – see if other less time sensitive
tasks can be shuffled
around. Or, see if the induction
day’s start and finish times can be
|Avoid – skipping any type of induction altogether.||Instead – find the type of induction that fits in best for the business and the new employee; it’s important to begin promptly, but it might then be split into manageable portions.|
After an employee has started, their signed employment contract should be returned to the Human Resources department or the dedicated individual or department responsible for the HR.
It should also be ensured that dates are dedicated for employee reviews to ensure probationary periods are not missed. In the first two years of employment there is minimum risk if an employee is dismissed.
This is why it is crucial that review dates are scheduled and kept too, and that the employee is aware of such dates so they know what is common practice and expected of them, as dismissal due to poor performance could occur.
In summary, ensuring that the employment contract is signed so it is executed properly and the Handbook is up to date, is crucial to ensure a smooth induction process.
Not only does such practice ensure the employee know what is expected of them, but both documents are crucial in any future legal dispute, if one were to arise.
Bhayani HR & Employment Law specialises in bespoke Employment Contract and Handbook drafting. It is one of the many benefits that is included in our Watertight HR package.
If you would like Watertight quote click here, or if you have any questions regarding induction processes in general contact us via our email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 303 2300 we would be happy to be of assistance.